No Animals Were Harmed…..

Reviews are funny things eh?

Part of me doesn’t want to look.  Part of me is curious.  Part of me craves some positive feedback (especially from someone who seems to have really ‘got’ the work).  And part of me is praying for a good review to help drive ticket sales.

After all, we are at an average of 8 sold out of 25 for one show and 10 out of 30 for the other.    And we all know what that means 🙁

Happily, we’ve had some lovely feedback for Sary, both from audiences and reviewers.  Folk seem to love both the writing and the performances, and the way they augment each other.  They pick up on the atmosphere and creation of a sense of place; the intimacy of the production.

It’s “a gem” – The F-word; “unlike anything else you’ll see at this year’s fringe” –  A Younger Theatre; and “like watching an intimate performance of a National Theatre play” – Fringe Review

And we’ve been nominated for an Infallibles Award for Theatrical Excellence for “a piece of perfectly balanced theatre” .  We must be doing something right.

But we also got a 2-star review.  A review that seemed to like everything about the show apart from the “detailed, graphic hare sex”.  Yes.

To be clear, there is a scene in the play where Sary (played by two actors simultaneously) has a dream, or perhaps a nightmare, about a sexual encounter with a ‘jack hare, tall as a man’. She then finds (or perhaps imagines) she is pregnant, and has a child – of some kind.  It is meant to be fantastical.  It is not meant to promote bestiality; honest.

The story comes from a Sussex legend about a woman who was said to turn into a hare.  It’s steeped in mythology.  Remember all those Greek tales?

My other show is based on Kafka’s Metamorphosis but tells the story of Grete the sister.  She goes through her own changes – puberty and other, darker stuff.  It’s full metaphor too….

But the fact remains what one audience member is taking away from (and writing pretty strongly about) my show is that it is about a woman craving bestial sex.  It’s an uncomfortable thought.

I think one of the worst things for a writer is feeling misunderstood. And a misunderstanding like this also carries a tinge of shame. At least it suggests that I’ve embraced an edginess in the work!

Maybe my mind is weirder than I thought; maybe I somehow need to make myself clearer; or maybe the review is ‘an outlier’.  It’s not for me to say.  But perhaps it will bring in more punters than any of the others!


#Sary runs at Sweet Novotel at 5 pm until 25 August (except 21st)

#Metamorphosis runs at Sweet Grassmarket at 6.45 pm  until 25 August (except 21st)